Completed circa 1474, Sébastien Mamerot's lavishly illustrated
manuscript is the only contemporary document to capture several
centuries of French crusades, when successive kings tried to capture the
Holy Land. Jean Colombe, the medieval illuminator best known for his work on the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, is the principal artist of its 66 exquisite miniatures.
Mamerot's manuscript was dedicated to his patron Louis de Laval,
governor of Champagne, whose inspiration was the Christian equivalent of
extremist jihad—a xenophobic holy war with its origins in a Papal appeal by Urban II. Les Passages d'Outremer (The Expeditions to Outremer) comprises
277 parchment folios, illustrated by Colombe and the finest
caligraphers of the medieval era, and now resides in the French national
This manuscript is the source of TASCHEN's facsimile reprint, which is accurate down to the color of the medieval gold heightening.
This two-volume hardcover edition in a slipcase – comprising a
facsimile volume and a commentary volume with the complete translation
of the manuscript text and explanations of Jean Colombe’s miniatures –
is a particular testimony to that long, glorious and bloody historical
epoch. The battles, burials, religious ceremonies, coronations and royal
processions depicted in the 66 colourful miniatures come to life before
our eyes and create a forceful image of those centuries-long wars.